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Legal Information: District of Columbia

Restraining Orders

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October 29, 2020

I was stalked or sexually assaulted by a stranger/friend. Can I file for a civil protection order?

Yes. If you are a victim of stalking, sexual assault, or sexual abuse, you can file for a civil protection order against the offender regardless of your relationship to him/her. This means that you could file for a civil protection order if the person who stalked or sexually assaulted you is a stranger, co-worker, acquaintance, etc.1 You may want to be prepared to explain to the clerk when you file that you are filing on the basis of stalking or sexual assault if you are filing against a stranger/friend to make sure that you aren’t turned away by the clerk.

1 D.C. Code § 16-1001(12)